USMC M-1941 Haversack and Knapsack

Marine in training, wearing M-1941 Haversack,  Marine barracks, New River, NC, May 1942.  M-1910 Intrenching Tool attached to pack and other gear look new
Marine in training, wearing M-1941 Haversack, Marine barracks, New River, NC, May 1942. M-1910 Intrenching Tool attached to pack and other gear look new.

Today in WW II: 17 Sep 1939 Soviet troops invade Poland from the east.  More 
17 Sep 1944 Thousands of Allied planes begin airborne assault on Holland, Operation Market Garden.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

USMC M-1941 Haversack and Knapsack

Marines on Iwo Jima, side view of M-1941 Haversack, February 1945
Marines on Iwo Jima, side view of M-1941 Haversack, February 1945.

The USMC M-1941 Haversack (upper bag) and Knapsack (lower bag) were a two-piece pack system issued to Marines in World War II. The Haversack had two straps to hold down the main flap, and separate blanket roll straps were used for a horseshoe rollup around the pack. A flap with eyelets was provided on the top center for an Intrenching Tool and a hold-down strap on the pack front held the handle of the tool. The pack suspenders (Suspenders, Web Belt M-1941) had two straps that crossed over in back, but were not connected. They used snap hooks to attach to the belt. Shoulder straps could be used instead of the suspenders. A second eyelet flap on the right side was intended for a bayonet or any equipment with the M-1910 hooks.

The knapsack had two straps to close its main flap and side straps to hold the lower arms of the horseshoe blanket roll (if rolled the long way). Short straps on the bottom of the Haversack attached the knapsack, when it was used.

Marines on the beach, wearing M-1941 haversack with camouflage blanket roll, Guam, 1945
Marines on the beach, wearing M-1941 haversack with camouflage blanket roll, Guam, 1945.

All components of the M-1941 pack system were in USMC pre-war "mustard tan" or khaki for World War II, although OD #7 was used later and even nylon versions in early Vietnam. Typical markings included "USMC" inside the flap along with manufacturer "BOYT" and date indications, such as "44".

This pack was difficult to adjust to in actual use and was not popular with the Marines who had to carry it.

Early and Late Pattern USMC M1941 Packs

The early pattern M-1941 haversack and knapsack each had two "dog ear" side flaps that folded over the opening from each side. The top flap then folded over and was closed by two small straps and buckles. In the early pattern, the haversack had an integrated set of shoulder straps and did not depend on suspenders. This system was not waterproof.

The modified "second pattern" haversack and knapsack were introduced in 1943 with a simplified closure system. They have "roll flaps", an extension of the pack bag body that are folded over for a secure, somewhat waterproof closure. The folded extension is the top flap of the pack that attaches to the outside straps.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: usmc pack wwii. Then click the Search button.

Military Theme
T-Shirts & Stuff
Visit Olive-Drab.com's sister site for
over 10,000 free military vehicle photos!